Illinois' home foreclosure rate rose 6 percent in October compared to the previous month, and was 19 percent higher than in October of last year. A RealtyTrac report released Thursday shows Illinois with almost 15 thousand foreclosure filings last month, the third-highest rate in the nation. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions. Nationally, October's foreclosure activity rose 3 percent from the previous month but fell 19 percent from October of 2011.

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The Illinois firearm deer season begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday.  It will conclude November 29th through December 2nd. Hunters harvested more than 98,000 deer during 2011's seven-day hunt. So far this year, about 334,000 permits have been issued.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reminding voters of some basic rights ahead of Tuesday's election. Madigan says voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. If a voter makes a mistake or spoils a paper ballot and the voter hasn't cast the ballot, the voter has the right to a replacement ballot. Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote - up to two successive hours - as long as they've applied with their employer before Election Day. However, the employer may choose the time of day.

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The Illinois Department of Employment Security will send emails to 800,000 business leaders and workers to highlight state services. Agency Director Jay Rowell said Wednesday the emails will offer help to companies in hiring, setting wages and building business plans. He says the effort will help get people back to work.

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says she supports making college tuition more affordable. She visited the University of Illinois-Chicago Thursday and presented a plan to stop rising tuition costs. She says both state and federal officials need to work together to bring costs down. While at the university, she shadowed two students in a chemistry lab work-study program. Simon’s office says increases in college tuition and fees have outpaced inflation, citing a Pew Research Center report that found students had an average of more than $26,000 in student loans in 2010.

Illinois foreclosures are up more than 30 percent from the same time last year. A RealtyTrac report shows third-quarter foreclosures totaled more than 42,000. That’s one of every 126 housing units, 4 percent higher than the second quarter.  That puts the state at the fourth highest foreclosure rate in the U.S.  Illinois foreclosures did drop 20 percent in September when compared to August. The three highest foreclosure rates are in Florida, Arizona and California. But nationally, foreclosure filings hit a 5-year low last month. The last time the rate was this low was in December 2007.

A southern Illinois judge has again barred Governor Pat Quinn from going forward with his plan to close two prisons. Circuit Judge Charles Cavaness cited safety concerns when he issued the injunction yesterday in Alexander County. It replaces a temporary restraining order he issued last month and requires the prisons to remain open while the administration and a union go through arbitration.

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Today is the deadline for Kentuckians and Illinoisans who need to register to vote in November’s presidential election.  Mail-in registrations in Kentucky must be postmarked by today to be accepted. Voters who’ve moved since the last election should update their registration today as well. Those who have moved to a different county who don’t update their registration won’t be permitted to vote. To register in Illinois, voters must have lived in their precinct for at least 30 days before the election.

A prominent Springfield, Illinois, businessman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison yesterday for trying to get campaign contributions in exchange for state business. William Cellini, once known as the “King of Clout,” was convicted last year for his role in trying to exchange state business with an Oscar-winning producer for a $1.5 million contribution for imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Cellini usually stays out of the public eye, but he issued a public statement taking responsibility for his actions.

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The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t hear an Illinois appeal on new legislative districts, giving no reason for its refusal.  The state’s G.O.P lawmakers say they’re disappointed.  Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno  and House Minority Leader Tom Cross allege the maps were gerrymandered to benefit Democrats and say the redistricting was unconstitutional. Lower courts have so far thrown out their complaints.